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Yuill wants another term to finish work

Election 2010
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of profiles of Rocklin City Council candidates. All profiles will be available online at placerherald.com. Mayor Scott Yuill is looking for another four-year term on the city council. Right now, he is the Mayor of the at-large council of five, two positions are up for re-election on the Nov. 2 ballot. He said he wants to finish the work he’s started and get Rocklin back on its economic feet for the future. “I wanted to be a business voice at the table in selecting the next city manager who has a strong economic development focus,” Yuill said. “I want to shape an economic strategy for the city.” Yuill wants to level the playing field with Roseville to be more competitive for growing business. That includes addressing high-water rates and connection fees, among other challenges. Yuill formed the Rediscover Rocklin group of downtown business owners who one day would like to revamp the commercial corridor around Pacific Street and Rocklin Road. He wants to make growing jobs, business and the local economy a priority for his next term, which includes what he calls, “maximizing the benefit of redevelopment funds.” “We have to have a good foundation of Rocklin businesses to pay for services to keep Rocklin a wonderful place to live,” Yuill said. In his last term, Yuill has helped to preside over a restructuring of city departments and a streamline of services while maintaining a balanced budget in a period of declining tax revenues and a consistent low crime rate. “I want to create a rainy-day fund that the city does not have with a required minimum,” Yuill said. While the city maintains a $5 million cash reserve the rainy-day fund would be added insurance. His top priority, he said, is to keep the budget balanced and live within the city’s means. He said the city may need to look outside for more contracted work for city work like landscape maintenance. That may include hiring an economic development director to support economic growth. “We need to update the city’s sign ordinance and conduct a comprehensive, competitive analysis of our permit fees and business taxes compared to surrounding jurisdictions,” Yuill said. Yuill said he wants to help the city develop a formal and effective business retention policy. The city has been criticized for its handling of pensions for retirees. Yuill vows to make pension reform a priority if re-elected. While Yuill admits many of the things need to be done at the state level, there are some things the city can do. “I want to require employees to pick up a larger share of retirement contributions,” Yuill said. Right now, the city pays for its share of pension contributions to CalPERS as well as the employees’ share. Yuill also wants to pursue different compensation for the next city manager. The public has been outraged by the past city managers contract, which allowed him, among other controversies, to bank hundreds of hours of sick and vacation time for an end of service cash out worth $159,000. “We need to reduce vacation and sick pay accruals and require unused accruals to be taken annually to the extent the law allows,” Yuill said. “We need pay salaries to be more appropriate for the size and scope of our city.” The city manager’s base salary last year is not a watermark for the next city manager, Yuill said. “Carlos Urrutia (the city manager) has a PHD and years of experience in Rocklin,” Yuill said. “I think the (salary) range of $170,000 to $210,000 will have to be the benchmark.” Yuill said the much talked about double dipping deal that allowed city employees to retire, collect a state pension, then be rehired by the city, was a financial win for the city. “We needed to shore up a million dollars in salary,” Yuill said. As for employees taking a pension while collecting a salary, Yuill said it is a temporary issue that unfortunately comes with the territory. “It is aggravating, but it is the law,” Yuill said. Yuill wants the city to focus funding on police and fire first, economic development second and parks, open space and infrastructure third. “Recreation has been cut back considerably,” Yuill said. “The city has had to cut $11 million out of a $45-million budget over the course of two to three years.” The city council voted to reduce recreation subsidies to make programs more self funding. “The challenges we face need to be hit head on and we need to find cooperative solutions to grow,” Yuill said. Yuill was born in Sacramento and earned a business degree from Sacramento State. Twenty-two years ago he became a State Farm Insurance and Financial Services Agent and opened a business in Rocklin. “I love Rocklin,” Yuill said. “I chose to invest a lot of money by opening a business here because Rocklin is such a great city.” Some have called him “Mr. Rocklin” for his heavy involvement in the community before he got on the council. He is active in the Rocklin-Loomis Basin Rotary Club and has been the past chairman of the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce. Yuill has been married for more than seven years and would like to raise a family in Rocklin. For more information on his campaign or a list of endorsements, visit his website at www.electscottyuill.com or call him at (916) 435-4874. the Yuill file Age: 48 Party: Republican Lived in Rocklin: 15 years Top priorities: 1. Keep a balanced budget 2. Long term pension reform 3. Prioritize public safety Website: www.electscottyuill.com